Filling casual vacancies

Casual vacancies can be filled either by co-option or election. Should there be vacancy on the Council it is a legal requirement that this is filled as soon as possible. Best practice is within six months.

The Parish Council must advertise the vacancy in places that are as conspicuous as possible and the Parish Council may also advertise the vacancy in any other matter they wish. If the District Council does not provide the notice of vacancy to the Parish Council, then the Parish Council must send a copy immediately to the Electoral Services Team. The notice must be displayed for 14 days (not including weekends and bank holidays) from the date of the notice.

Filling the vacancy by Election

During the 14 days of the notice being displayed 10 electors from within the parish or ward of the parish can call for an election to be held. To do this they will need to make their request in writing to the Returning Officer at North Kesteven District Council. In the event of this happening the parish clerk will be notified immediately. The Returning Officer will decide the date of the election which must fall within 60 days from the date of the notice.

Filling the vacancy by co-option

If an election is not requested the parish clerk will be notified that the parish council must co-opt a member to fill the vacancy as soon as practicable. If the number of casual vacancies leaves the parish council without a quorum, the district council will order an election to be held and in the meantime may by order appoint people to fill all or any of the vacancies until other Councillors are elected and take up office. Any person co-opted on to the parish council must be qualified to hold office.

Term of Office

A person elected or co-opted to fill a casual vacancy holds office until the person in whose place they are elected or appointed would regularly have retired.

Heckington Parish Councillors

Parish Councillors hold office for four years. Heckington has eleven councillors - ten Councillors represent Heckington West and one represent Heckington East. Every four years all Councillors have to vacate their positions for an election. The latest was in May 2015 when only ten valid nominations for the eleven seats were submitted and so those ten candidates were elected uncontested to the Parish Council and a co-option was necessary to fill the remaining seat. Councillors remain in office until May 2019 when the next full parish elections will take place.